What I Read July

I didn’t do a jot from my July reading goals, although I thought I’d be finishing¬†Far from the Madding Crowd.¬†Yeah, no, Hardy is not for me. This was a 2nd try after years of growing up. Nope, CANNOT stand that sort of thing. Everyone makes very obvious terrible choices or is a terrible person and its all presented sort of fatalistically as if they couldn’t help themselves, woe are they. They most certainly could have helped themselves, most people manage to be able to avoid the extreme level of wreckage a Hardy character seems to relish (kind of an exaggerated Ethan Frome experience except these characters have even more agency and choices and so its more infuriating). It’s crazy how some of the same choices or plots can, by another author’s hand, evoke such a different response.


I reread Jane of Lantern Hill and Magic for Marigold.¬†Both of them charming and magical as always. However, Jane’s “mummy” is infuriating. Hmm, might have to do a post about that, it connects with other thoughts I have for a theme.


The Greengage Summer by Rumer Godden. Enjoyable at first but with a taste or warning or undercurrent of, hmm, issues. And then the last section, oh, my, stars. So, gave this a one. Just not comfortable with the content.


Miss Buncle’s Book by D.E. Stevenson. Very enjoyable and funny.


Greenwillow by B.J. Chute, I got confused posting my June reads so late, but I read this in July. Also enjoyable, in a sweeter way.



  • Elizabeth

    I haven’t heard of these ones but I love the titles for some of them. Although Jane of Lantern Hill sounds really familiar so there’s a chance I might have read it or maybe I’ve just heard the title mentioned before.

  • Marian

    I’m with you on Hardy. I did find Far from the Madding Crowd to be a bit of page turner, but I don’t enjoy stories about People Doing Bad Things and Hoping To Get Away With It.

    • Rachel Olivia

      I found it to be a page turner until I got to the middle and started seeing all the threads come together. It’s not even hoping to get away with it, I don’t think, its the “I’m the victim, everything happens TO me” all the while I’m sitting reading about very clear choices of free will. That will be a no from me. Its why I couldn’t read the last bit of Mill on the Floss.

  • Catherine

    I don’t think I’m a Hardy person either, I did kind of enjoy Tess of the D’Urbevilles, which was the only one I’ve tried, but it was just relentlessly sad. Have you seen Tamara Drewe? It’s supposed to be a modern day Far from the Madding Crowd. It’s a bit weird, but an easy watch.

    • Rachel Olivia

      I’ve not heard of it, but I might try it as I do want to watch more Hardy movies (I’ve seen Under the Greenwood Tree, didn’t know that was Hardy). I think I’d enjoy those, much faster for one thing, and because of the format I don’t have to feel the irritating Hardy philosophy of fatalism or whatever it is everywhere.

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